December 6, 2019
WTBOA Board Members Present: Melodie Bultena, Pam Christopherson, Jim Engstrom (phone), Mary Lou Griffin, Nina Hagen, Dana Halvorson, David Israel, Petra Lewin, Greg Luce, Debra Pabst.
WTBOA Board Members Absent: Dr. Duane Hopp, Jennifer Webber.
WHBPA Board Members Present: Jack Fabulich, Greg Moore, Jose Navarro, Tom Wenzel.
WHBPA Staff Present: MaryAnn O’Connell, Lanna Allen
WTBOA Staff Present: M. Anne Sweet.
A joint meeting of the Washington Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association (WTBOA) and Washington Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (WHBPA) was called to order at 12:25 p.m. at the WTBOA offices by President Halvorson.
Proposed Claiming Rule Change: O’Connell summarized the current rule and proposed rule change, which had previously been voted down by the WHBPA Board. The new rule has been proposed to model the California claiming rule, which expands the circumstances under which a claim may be canceled. It was noted that the proposed rule would take all of the risk away and could potentially hurt the yearling sale if horses being claimed were essentially being “vetted” before purchase. The WHBPA wants the rule to stay as is, which currently allows for a claim to be canceled if a horse suffers a catastrophic injury during the race that results in euthanasia within two hours following the official off time of the race. After discussion, Griffin moved that the WTBOA Board supported leaving the current rule “as is,” without any change. Pabst seconded the motion, which was approved. Sweet will send a letter to the Washington Horse Racing Commission to inform the Commission of the WTBOA Board’s position on this matter.
There was discussion regarding adding a condition for Washington-breds to some races. It was felt that there would be no cost to the track, it would potentially increase field size, and it gives an added benefit to Washington-breds. It was noted that this has worked for Allowance races at Hastings Racecourse in British Columbia, although not at lower levels. An extra condition for Washington-breds could be added to straight non-winner of two Allowance races.
There was also discussion regarding continuing the extra claiming condition for Washington-breds, which had been done last year at the $5,000/$6,250 and $10,000/$12,500 levels. Washington-breds would also be able to run for approximately 25 percent higher at the upper two levels.
Bultena moved that the two Boards – WTBOA and WHBPA – are in agreement to move the two aforementioned suggestions forward. Luce seconded and the motion was approved.
Griffin suggested adding one more waiver claiming condition for any horse coming from layoff or from another track. There was discussion regarding how this might impact horses coming here to be claimed (dropping from levels at other tracks). It was noted that Emerald Down President Phil Ziegler has been exploring this. O’Connell noted that the WHBPA is in favor of the layoff waiver, but not a waiver for horses coming from another track.
The WTBOA/WHBPA joint meeting was adjourned at 1:30 p.m. The WTBOA Board meeting was called to order at 1:45 p.m. by President Halvorson
Previous Board Minutes: Minutes from the October 18, 2019, meeting were presented and reviewed. Luce moved to approve the minutes as presented. Bultena seconded the motion. The minutes were approved as presented.
Finance Committee Report: Treasurer Pabst asked for approval of the 2020 budget, which had been presented and reviewed. She noted that staffer Tara Homfeldt had left and Dana Claxton had been hired on a part-time basis to replace her. She also noted that the Spring and Fall issues of the magazine would no longer be printed, but would be available online only. The Summer sale issue and the Winter Stallion Register issue will still be printed. Pabst moved to approve the 2020 budget as presented. Israel seconded and the budget was approved.
Northwest Race Series: Chairman Pabst noted that the roll over for 2020 would be smaller than in previous years. She also noted that nominations had been raised slightly across the board in include an administration fee. It was also noted that rates had not been increased for many years. Board members were reminded to remind their clients to nominate.
Stallion Season Auction: The Stallion Season Auction will be live online at Thoroughlybred.com for the dates of December 17-22, 2019. Board members are reminded to please buy from and/or bid on seasons in the auction. Please also remind clients to participate. This is a good opportunity to purchase seasons to quality stallions at a good rate. Incentives have been added.
- $2,500/$1,000 Stallion Season Auction Bonuses – Those stallions achieving the top five highest-selling seasons will be automatically entered into the Tier 1 Drawing. The winning stallion drawn will receive a bonus in the amount of 50 percent of their final season-bid amount up to a maximum of $2,500. All other stallions whose seasons sold will be automatically entered into the Tier 2 Drawing. The winning stallion will earn a bonus in the amount of 50 percent of their final season-bid amount up to a maximum of $1,000. Both drawings will be held on the evening of the Washington Annual Awards Banquet on Saturday, February 22, 2020. All Tier 1 stallions, including the names of the farms where they stand, will be featured in the Awards Banquet program, as well as in the Champions issue of Washington Thoroughbred magazine. Bonus amounts will be paid to the stallion owner. (Final bid amounts will not be made public.)
- Three-year-old Race Supplement (Two Divisions) – All progeny of the 2020 breeding season of stallions whose seasons sold during the online auction will be eligible to run for a bonus of $1,000 or greater in each of two three-year-old stakes to be run at Emerald Downs in 2024. Comparable races in 2019 were the $50,000 Seattle Slew Stakes (colts and geldings) and the $50,000 Irish Day Stakes (fillies), both run at 1 1/16 miles. The bonus(es) will be paid to the winning owner(s) of the eligible horse(s).
Sales Committee Report: The 2020 sale date will be either Tuesday, August 18 or August 25, relative to the Longacres Mile date. The next Sales Committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 30, 2020.
Publications Report: Sweet reported that the Calendar had been shipped and would be available soon. The Stallion Register pages are currently online and the print version is in progress.
Washington Horse Racing Commission (WHRC)/Emerald Downs Report: The Equine Health and Safety Report had been presented, showing 1.87 fatalities per 1,000 horses, very close to the national average. It was noted that over the years the number of racing days has decreased from 91 days to just 63 days in 2020. Owners’ bonuses and breeders’ awards have mailed, with a factor of 17.7 percent for owners’ bonuses and factors of 8.6, 3.9, and 3.8 percent for breeders’ awards.
Promotional Video: Lewin reported that she had been in touch with Emerald Downs media people Joe Withee and Vince Bruun. She noted that Board members should reach out with bullet points. One thing that was noted for inclusion was the 17 percent owners’ bonus paid to owners of Washington-breds. The issue of high definition versus non-high definition film had been discussed. There may be the need to get more high definition film footage. The aim is to get a version that is a maximum of one and a half to two minutes long, although a longer version could be created for other purposes. It was suggested that once it is produced, we could get it to extension offices, as well as 4-H, FFA, and Pony Club.
Other Business: Pabst reported that foal from the Washington Broodmare Club is now being broken.
There was discussion regarding continuing the Emerald Racing Club farm visits and perhaps expanding that to include inviting them to yearling previews. Other ideas suggested included signing people up for a tour of the sales barns, promoting yearling showings for all consignors hosting them and/or collaborating with smaller consignors to show yearlings at existing farms.
Annual Awards Banquet: The banquet is scheduled for Saturday, February 22, 2020, at Emerald Downs. Procurement help is needed and procurement sheets are available. Sweet will contact Karen Proffitt to see if she can assist with the planning.
Next Meeting Date: The next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, January 21, 2020.
It was moved by Luce and seconded by Bultena to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried and the meeting was adjourned at 2:35 p.m.
January 21, 2020, Meeting Minutes
Pending approval at next meeting
Friday, February 21, 2020